Teaching Through the Arts

Students are inspired by Native American Storyteller Dolls

Over the last 4 years, CLACS has developed a strong partnership with the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Together we have organized comprehensive K-12 professional development programming which brings together pedagogy training for educators and Latin America and Caribbean-related content for use in New York City classrooms. Specifically, CLACS partners closely with the New York State Spanish Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center (SBETAC) to support educators working with English language learners (ELLs), Spanish speaking students, ESL students, and students attending bilingual schools.

CLACS and SBETAC have also connected with organizations across New York City such as The New York Times, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF TeachUnicef Program, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) K-12 program  to offer professional development workshops for K-12 educators.

Recently, on 16 November, a workshop was offered at MoMA which focused on how to incorporate art into the language development strategies used with English Language Learners (ELLs). The morning’s events opened with an introduction of the similarities between the arts and the language arts through an examination of poetry and the visual arts, followed by a discussion of practical ways to integrate the arts into the ELL classroom. After gallery tours, participants spent the afternoon collaborating and creating practical but creative classroom activities. One of the main themes of the day was illustrating how art can be used as a tool to develop language, critical thinking and analytical skills.  The photo above is an example of student work produced in a class following the workshop, using Native American Story Teller Dolls for inspiration. The art teacher who submitted this work is inspiring students by connecting writing exercises and visual art projects in the classroom. Participants in the MoMA-SBETAC workshop also submitted lesson ideas, which are available on the SBETAC website for use in a variety of classrooms to creatively incorporate language development strategies with ELLs.

CLACS actively partners with organizations across NYC to offer exciting K-12 programming and professional development opportunities for area educators. Interested teachers should review CLACS’ list of resources for educators and curricular materials for download.  For more information about K-12 programming, please sign up for email announcements via the CLACS website.

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